FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A political scientist thinks turnout in the November midterm election will be up from the last one in 2018. However, he doesn’t think the turnout will be significantly larger, not enough to deviate from an average year in Arkansas polls.

Associate professor of political science at John Brown University, Daniel Bennett, said this is the first chance for voters to give their input on how they feel about the Biden administration, even though they won’t necessarily be voting for anyone in the Biden administration.

“They’re voting for candidates who have spoken out against or for the administration’s goals,” said Bennett.

A new poll, released by Talk Business & Politics and Hendrix College, found that Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders remains ahead of Democrat Chris Jones. The results show Sanders with a 10% lead over Jones, with 51% of voters saying they would vote for Sanders.

Roby Brock, the host for Talk Business & Politics, said there haven’t been as many independent voters leaning in favor of the Republican candidate for governor.

“In past cycles, we’ve seen Republican candidates win independent voters 2-1 or 3-1, and she’s actually trailing about three percentage points behind Chris Jones among independent voters,” said Brock.

Bennett believes there may be more democratic voters that show up for the midterm elections to vote for Jones.

“You might see someone like Chris Jones motivate greater democratic turnout, maybe because of his race and because of descriptive representation,” said Bennett.

Meanwhile, Sanders has connections with the Trump administration, from her time as Donald Trump’s press secretary, and has strong Arkansas ties.

“I think she’s trying to kind of have her cake and eat it too, in a sense, to where she can lean on that support, but also try to remind voters, ‘hey, I’m my own candidate,'” said Bennett.

There are a few topics that may drive more democrats into the polls, such as LGBTQ+ and abortion rights.

“The overturn of Roe v. Wade the past summer — certainly Democrats hope that is a motivating factor for people to come out and vote. That’s folks that may not have otherwise done so,” said Bennett.

While republicans may turn out in midterms more for economic issues.

“That’s something we’ve seen Sarah Sanders’ campaign on. She’s talking about inflation. She’s talking about a lot of national issues that democrats are trying to downplay,” said Bennett.

Election day is Nov. 8. You can find out more about the upcoming elections here.